AS I SEE IT 11/5: Thoughts on a thermonuclear dumpster fire
First, tomorrow is Election Day in America. The stakes have never been higher for us as a nation. Those who we elect will likely determine policy for the next 20 years in such issues as Social Security and Medicare, women’s and LGBT rights, immigration, national health care, and war and peace.
Vote Tuesday like your life and the lives of millions depend on it. It does.
Now for my thoughts on the thermonuclear dumpster fire entitled Blood Mon….er, Crown Jewel. We saw:
A new, er, old part time champion…with little upside other than he can get a photo op on a UFC PPV.
A World Cup with participants all from the United States, and potential dream matches ignored….all so Shane McMahon could be booked to be “Best In The World”, whether to turn heel authority figure, take a slap at CM Punk, or both.
A main event that featured the dream return of HBK nine years in the making, but wound up being part of a match that would have been torn to pieces had it been on a local Indy show.
The most memorable moment associated with the event happened before it, when Bryan Danielson refused to take part in Crown Jewel, a decision he came to even before the Khashoggi murder. Danielson refused to take part after he became aware after the last Saudi show (on which he did take part) of the way the LGBT population was treated there, and how Sami Zayn was excluded by Saudi request for being Syrian.
WWE apparently felt they could talk him into it, but finally realized Danielson wasn’t going to budge, continued to false advertise him, then finally wrote him out of Crown Jewel with the excellent match on last Tuesday’s Smackdown. I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt his career, but Vince McMahon’s history toward those who say no to him is well known. Just ask Bret Hart, for example.
In more positive news, the Holidays are here, and the first Black Friday specials of the yearly retail orgy known by corporate America as “The Holidays” are underway.
How about remembering the real reason for this time of year instead?
In keeping with the actual spirit of the seasons… the season of light that is Hanukkah and the season of the Christchild, the wrestling community will reach out to those in need. The independent wrestling community will reach out to those in need with benefit shows and collections for various food pantries, fundraisers for homeless or domestic violence shelters, lots and lots of Toys for Tots drives, collections of warm coats, and events benefiting many other charities.
Over the years, promotions in my Philadelphia/South Jersey area ranging from the family-friendly United Wrestling Coalition (FOR TWENTY YEARS) to the hardcore themed Combat Zone Wrestling (FOR FOURTEEN YEARS) to indies of various sizes and types throughout the United States and Canada have run such events from October to the Holidays and beyond.
A special note on that subject…and something to keep in mind. For many years, Toys ‘R US was a major donor to Toys for Tots nationwide. A recent article in an Everett, WA newspaper stated that their LOCAL Toys for Tots store and customers from it donated 2500 toys ALONE. That’s one Toys ‘R Us…out of 182 stores closed.
Toys ‘R Us raised more than $50 million and collected 4 million toys since 2004, according to the national office of Toys For Tots.
If your local independent promotion, is running a Toys for Tots show (or even if it isn’t) PLEASE…PLEASE…PLEASE donate an extra toy this year.
51 events have been officially announced or held so far, with others agreed to but yet to be announced:
* Tri City Wrestling presented the fourth annual Cassidy Christie Memorial Cup event on October 6 in Bay City, MI. The show benefited the Cassidy Christie Memorial Scholarship and raised $3,334…well over $1,000 more than last year.
* PWA Canada raised $2600 at their October 13 show for the Hunter Costello Memorial FUN-dation in Goderich, ON which raises funds to build an accessible playground and to defer pediatric health care costs.
* Classic Championship Wrestling returned to Camp Hill, PA on October 14 for “It’s Good To Be The Queen”. The promotion will begin its yearly toy drive in conjunction with the local Elks Lodge, with collection barrels at the Lodge through December. They have already collected two full boxes of toys.
* Dynamo Pro Wrestling/Glory Pro Wrestling will be part of the annual Eat and Treat event on October 19 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater in Chesterfield, MO, with Dynamo Pro Wrestling and Glory Pro Wrestling matches plus food all to benefit Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer.
* Supreme Wrestling presented a fundraiser on October 19 at Christ’s Way Christian Church, North Vernon, IN for Logan’s Koala Heroes, to help bring warm clothes and blankets to pediatric cancer patients at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
* Showcase Pro Wrestling will hold food drives at its six scheduled shows from October 6 through December 15; in Woonsocket, RI (October 6, November 2, December 7) and Taunton, MA (October 13, November 3, December 15), collecting food for Harvest Community Church.
* Appalachian Mountain Wrestling will hold their annual holiday shows to benefit The Gray Community Chest, with canned food items collected for the Gray Food Bank and new toys for the Johnia Berry Memorial Toy Drive at both their November 3 at Knox County Middle School, Barbourville, KY; and Miller Family Fun Center, Hazard, KY on November 10 Holiday Tour shows.
* Elk Mania Promotions returned to Beverly, MA on November 3 to benefit the scholarship initiatives of The Elks National Foundation, raising $2,098.21 for the Foundation at last night’s show.
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling held the first of their two annual Firemen’s Cheer Fund Toy Drive shows on November 3 in Columbus, IN with nearly $2900 in toys, bikes, and cash donations raised.
* Canadian Wrestling’s Elite came to Yorkton, SK on November 3 and helped raised nearly $3500 for the Ronald McDonald House!
* Live Pro Wrestling returned to Renfrew, ON on November 3 in a taping for Yourtv Ottawa Valley, non-perishable food and money are being collected for the Renfrew Food Bank.
* Cross Body Pro Wrestling presented Can You Handle This? (Special Olympics Fundraiser Show) on November 3 in Kitchener, ON featuring Rich Swann and Josh Alexander to benefit Special Olympics Ontario
* Timmy Takedown was held November 4 at the Incrediplex, Indianapolis, IN. Money raised served Timmy Global Health, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that expands access to healthcare and empowers students and volunteers to tackle today’s most pressing global health challenges in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Guatemala. 23 wrestlers signed up to participate this year, a lot of whom were former or current patients at Riley Children’s Hospital.
* PWX Wrestling will hold Headlock 4 Hospitals on November 9 in Shelby, NC to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
* Burlington Championship Wrestling and All About Roofing present Crushing Cancer on November 11 with a 4:00 pm bell at Positive Attitude Youth Center, 229 Graham Hopedale Road, Burlington, NC.
* UWE Pro Wrestling presents its annual Headlock for Hunger event on November 11 at The Wex, 1320 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI. The event benefits local Cadillac service agency Shepherd’s Table, which cooks and serves over 35,000 meals a year. The promotion and its talent collect food for two months prior to the event for donation.
* Benefit Championship Wrestling and All About Roofing present Crushing Cancer on November 11 at the Positive Attitude Youth Center in Burlington, NC to benefit Relay for Life of Alamance County.
* Pro Wrestling Magic presents We Rise Again: A Benefit for Joey Finnegan on November 11 in Ridgefield, NJ as a fundraiser for medical bills for local fan Joey Finnegan.
* Brew City Wrestling holds its annual Headlock on Hunger show on November 17 at the Waukesha Elks Lodge, 2301 Springdale Road, Waukesha, WI.
* Revolt Pro Wrestling presents Rise Up, which takes place on November 17 at 1446 Commerce Drive, Crestview, FL to benefit the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund through Directrelief.org.
* All Pro Wrestling and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada will again hold Headlock on Hunger on November 17 at the Edward C Reed High School, Sparks, NV. Last year, they EXCEEDED their goal of enough collected for TEN THOUSAND MEALS
* AWC Wrestling will hold their annual Toys for Tots benefit on November 17 in Morganton, NC.
* NAWA Professional Wrestling will have a canned food drive for Burke United Christian Ministries at its show on November 17 (4:00 pm bell time) at the Burke County Fair, 145 Bost Rd, Morganton, NC.
* NOVA Pro Wrestling will again help the Jewish Community Center of Fairfax, VA on November 23 with its FACETS Toy Collection at its “11th Dimension” show at the JCC in Fairfax, VA.
* Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling presents “Headlocks for Hunger” on November 24 for the fifth consecutive year at the Departure Bay Activity Center in Nanaimo, BC, VIPW will be collecting for the local Loaves and Fishes food bank. Fans get one raffle ticket for each food item for some awesome prizes.
* All Star Wrestling/West Virginia returns to the Madison Civic Center, 261 Washington Ave, Madison, West Virginia on Black Friday (November 23). Santa will for the second straight year, be collecting bags of toys and cash donations for The Nice List.
* Delmarva Wrestling Digest holds its 4th annual Toys for Tots Drive on November 28 at 23458 Sussex Highway, Seaford, DE. The Briscoe Brothers will be appearing. 10 percent t of all sales will be donated to Toys for Tots, and donations are being accepted at this location.
* American Premier Wrestling presents BRAWL 40 on December 1 in Statesboro, GA, a fundraising dinner and wrestling show to benefit Toys for Tots.
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling will hold the second of their two annual Firemen’s Cheer Fund Toy Drive shows on December 1 in Columbus, IN.
* United Wrestling Coalition will hold their TWENTIETH ANNUAL Toys for Tots show on December 1 in Wrightstown, NJ.
* MCW Wrestling holds its annual Toys for Tots show on December 1 in Joppa, MD.
* ECWA Pro Wrestling has scheduled its annual Toys for Tots show on December 1 at Asbury United Methodist Church, New Castle, DE
* Chinlock Wrestling returns to Kingston, ON on December 1 to benefit Youth Diversion Kingston and Kingston Military Family Resource Centre.
* Ontario’s Crossfire Wrestling will hold its annual Jingle Bell Brawl on December 1, to benefit the Niagara Children’s Foundation.
* Harley Race’s World League Wrestling will again present their December holiday show (date TBA) in Troy. MO to raise monetary donations for its local community food pantry, The Bread For Life Food Pantry, that helps those in need in their local community in Lincoln County.
* Eastern Panhandle Pro Wrestling will hold its Christmas charity event, entitled Absolute Domination, on December 7 at Middleway Volunteer Fire Company, Kearneysville, WV to benefit a local charity to be determined.
* Combat Zone Wrestling and DJ Hyde have agreed again to do the annual Toys for Tots collection (in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserve) for the fourteenth year in a row at Combat Zone Wrestling’s Cage of Death 20, scheduled for Sunday, December 9 at the legendary 2300 (ECW) Arena in Philadelphia, PA, as part of the Icons of Wrestling weekend on December 8-9.
* AWA New South returns to Bowling Green, KY on Saturday December 8th for a Toys for Tots toy drive event. The event will take place at the National Guard Armory located at 920 Morgantown Road. Doors for the event open at 6 PM with a 7 PM bell time. Admission is $10 for all seats. You can receive $2 off admission price if you bring a new unwrapped toy for donation.
* Championship Wrestling from Ontario presents “T’was The Fight Before Christmas” on December 9 at The Rockpile in Toronto, ON. Non-perishable foods are being collected for Toronto’s Daily Bread Food bank.
* Demand Lucha returns to The Opera House in Toronto, ON on December 13 for the Merry Lucha Libre Christmas Show, in support of Variety Village Children’s Charity toy drive.
* UWE Pro Wrestling and Santas Helping Hands come together on December 15 at The Wex, 1320 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI to collect gifts for the underprivileged kids in town. All seating only $5. Bring a gift for someone less fortunate.
* Ring of Honor Wrestling will be holding a Toys for Tots collection at its December 15 Final Battle Fallout TV taping at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Bell time is 6:00 pm.
* Pro Wrestling All-Stars of Detroit and Metro Pro Wrestling will present Christmas Combat on December 15 at Hero’s Hall/Victory Gym, 23156 King Rd. Part of the proceeds will benefit Hero’s Hall/Victory Gym. which works with veterans dealing with PTSD.
* Alabama Wrestling returns to action on December 15 for its annual Toy Drive at 7385 Hwy 188, Coden, AL. Admission is free with a $5 minimum toy.
* DAWG Pro Wrestling will be holding a Toys for Tots collection at their December 22 show at MaxFit and Sports on 240 Delsea Drive in Glassboro, NJ.
* Blue Water Championship Wrestling will return to Port Huron, MI on December 29 for Headlock for Hunger, to benefit Midcity Nutrition Soup Kitchen in Port Huron, MI.
Until next time….